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In honor of Poetry Month, Easter, Passover,
and all things rabbity, my free-verse picture book,
To Rabbittown, originally published by Scholastic,

is 99 cents on iTunes, Kindle, Nook–yippee!

Download the free Kindle for PC 
if you don’t have an eReader.

for more children’s poetry links go to
this delicious blog:
Jama’s Alphabet Soup

Wait...what do you mean it needs some editing?????

No, I disagree...I really think the words, "severed head" work in this poem.

Yeah, well, thanks for your suggestions. Let me think about them; NO.

I do believe I'm entitled to a nap after an exhausting session ripping my poem apart..

This is Eli. Pronounced eeee-lye.

Hi there!¬† Welcome to RuffDrafts.com–I’m glad you’re here!

My original poems, posted each day of National Poetry Month 2013, are imperfect. Messy.¬† This is your chance to sneak a peek behind the scenes—before a poem is polished and published! (For my poems in 2010, 2011 & 2012, click on the Poetry link in the menu above.)

My friend Bruce Balan and I critique each other‚Äôs poems every day…so you’ll see Bruce’s comments on some of the poems.

Thanks for following so well.¬† I’m tempted to take you to the dog park and let you romp off-leash… Ready?¬† Let’s begin!


April 24


by April Halprin Wayland

I’m just a small tree
trying to be
healthy and green and alive.

But now I can see
though you may disagree
that this park’s not a place I can thrive.

One dog trots by
and gives me the eye
then he pees, which means “I’m a hot shot!”

Before I can try
to towel or drip dry,
A second dog comes to that spot.

She crouches and pees
and seems very pleased,
saying, “I’M here‚ÄĒthe last guy is not.”

The first dog comes back
to beef up his tracks
and make sure his message’s not blurred.

I’m just a small tree
trying hard to stay green
while each dog strives to have the last word.


Some days the dog park just hands me a poem.

First Eli marked the tiny tree (it only came up to his hip).¬† Then Bailey marked it.¬† Then Eli came and marked on top of hers.¬† Then she came back to mark over his.¬† And one of my dog park friends said, “Someone’s gotta have the last word!”¬† I mean, how can you NOT write that one?

This is another mask poem–one written from the point of view of an inanimate object or animal.

It’s composed of seven three-line stanzas.¬† Three-line stanzas are called tercets.

The rhyming pattern of this poem is: AAB, AAB, CCD, CCD, AAD,  EEF, AA(slant rhyme)F.

When one line doesn’t quite rhyme with another, it’s called a slant rhyme.

Bruce writes: “Funny.¬† Meter changes in the last lines of the last two stanza so I stumbled when reading it out loud.”
This is why having a critique partner like Bruce is so helpful.  :-)

tree in dog park (4)

Tree standing very still, trying not to attract attention.


poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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